Christmas simply can’t arrive until Pittsburgh has held it’s annual Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO) show, which featured two performances at Consol Energy Center on December 23 for electrifying performances.
With a $20 million production budget, a TSO surpassed my wildest dreams for a theatrical stage show. Captivating each and every audience member, the band took Pittsburghers on a Christmas musical journey, complete with narration, heavy metal and one of the most elaborate stage shows I’ve ever seen.
TSO Keyboardist and musical director, Derek Weiland, said it best when he said,” what I get from people is you really can’t describe our show in words. There’s the story and the music and the experience that you get from the show which makes it so very special. The live show is something that can be replaced on a video or hearing the record.”
Weiland is correct. As a TSO newbie, I have seen recorded performances and listened to the albums but nothing could prepare me for the amazement of seeing the show live. Laser lights, smoke, fire, descending stages from the ceiling and rising platforms in the back of the floor – the group smashes practically every live performance effect possible into the two-hour show.
The show featured a mixture of narration and music, both hard and soft. At times audience members were transported to beautiful classic melodies and then kicked up the gears for pounding heavy-metal inspired riffs, such as “NutRocker,” which will forever change my thoughts of the iconic ballet forever.
TSO’s heart doesn’t just lie with the music though. From the very beginning tours, the group has donated $1 from every ticket purchased at every show, in every city to a local charity. This year, Pittsburgh’s ticket sales raised over $24,000 for WQED and over $12,000 for the Columbia Gas Dollar Energy Fund. When representatives took the stage at the beginning of the night, Columbia Gas announced the company will match the $12,000 Pittsburgher’s raised.
After the show, the compassionate efforts continued for TSO when members arrived on the concourse for a long line of anxious fans to sign autographs and snap photographs. Armed with their TSO memorabilia were appreciative of the time spent to sign their tour books, tee-shirts, and other collectibles.
TSO closed out the concert season for Consol Energy Center with a bang. The magnificent performance will leave me waiting and wanting more but thankfully, the wait isn’t very long. TSO is scheduled to perform at the Wesbanco Arena in Wheeling, WV in April 27, 2012 for their Beethoven’s Last Night Tour. Tickets range from $38.50 – $63.65 and are available anywhere Ticketmaster tickets are sold. For more information on the Trans Siberian Orchestra, visit http://trans-siberian.com/.